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How to improve Chinese listening at an advanced level

Caleb Williams

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Hello, I'm new to the forums.


I've been studying Chinese for 7 years now, and I feel as though my progress, especially for the past few months, has been stagnant. My weakest points in my eyes nowadays are my listening and writing. I simply have less time to practice now that I'm in college. I'm currently a freshman in undergrad. I'm still at the point where I can understand the general idea and point of a news broadcast but not every single word. I want to get to nigh native fluency. Another thing I struggle with is classical Chinese. For example, the movie 《赤壁》is something that I can understand phrases from, but it takes a lot of effort to understand. Any advice?

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Here is an old thread which discusses a technique I used to help improve my listening (be sure to keep reading the follow ups). See also my take on the matter here.


The basic strategy is to listen intently to small pieces of audio again and again, and slowly build up to longer pieces of audio.  It's boring work to drill like that, but doing so makes listening an automatic reflex rather than something you need to spend effort doing, which frees your brain up to focus on the next sounds coming in without falling behind.


Do it every day, and within 3 months you'll have made noticeable improvements.


Regarding the posts linked above, none of the links to various audio in those posts will work anymore, so you'll have to find another source (maybe try something from the transcription project).

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